Contribution of Animal Agriculture to Greenhouse Gases Production in Swaziland


The economy of Swaziland is depended on agriculture. In 2009, it was reported that agriculture, forestry, and manufacturing contributed 42% of Swaziland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Besides economic importance, animal agriculture is important for food production and life sustenance. It is also viewed as a symbol of wealth and high social status particularly for the rural folks. Despite the merits of agricultural activities, agricultural production, particularly animal production, has been incriminated for an accelerated emission of greenhouse gases. These gases are responsible for global warming and climate change. The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of animal agriculture to greenhouse gases production and to elicit adaptation strategies to climate change and the role of modern technologies as mitigating measures. The minor and major greenhouse gases produced by farm animals were computed using the IPCC spread sheet for calculation of greenhouse gases emissions. The minor greenhouse gases produced by farm animals were NOx and CO2 and the major gasses included CH4 and N2O. The greenhouse gas that was emitted the most by farm animals was CH4, 24 Gg or 600 CO2e per annum. Ruminants were the major producers of methane. The producers of the least greenhouse gases emissions were non ruminants. Livestock produced 0.87 Gg of N2O per annum, a global warming potential of 259 CO2e. Feeding ammoniated straw and silage inoculating with transgenic rumen bacteria, animal breeding and manure storage techniques, use of biogas digester with methane gas recovery and emphasis on non ruminant production were possible strategies that could be employed to reduce greenhouse gases production from the livestock sector. It was recommended that feed preservation technologies, selection strategies, water harvesting, storage and recycling strategies and intensive livestock production systems could be used as adaptation strategies to climate change in livestock production.

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Dlamini, A. and Dube, M. (2014) Contribution of Animal Agriculture to Greenhouse Gases Production in Swaziland. American Journal of Climate Change, 3, 253-260. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2014.33024.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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